Church History
“I Accept Humbly This Calling”

“I Accept Humbly This Calling”

In late 1989, the Communist Party relinquished power, and Czechoslovakia began a peaceful transition to democracy. This Velvet Revolution led to greater freedom and allowed Church members to publicly practice their faith. In February 1990, after 40 years of rejected petitions, the Church was granted official recognition. In May, missionaries returned to Czechoslovakia, and on July 1, 1990, the Czechoslovakia Prague Mission was formally organized.

On May 20, 1991, Jiří and Olga Šnederfler received a phone call from President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency asking them to serve as president and matron of the Freiberg Germany Temple. Jiří was stunned silent. “Are you there, Jiří?” Monson asked.

Composing himself, Jiří responded simply, “I accept humbly this calling.” The Šnederflers served in Freiberg from 1991 to 1995. During their tenure, they played a crucial role in extending the blessings of the temple to many Eastern European Saints who, like them, had persevered in their faith under communism.

Growing numbers of citizens of the Czech Republic have made their way to the Freiberg Temple since then as branches in the country have witnessed gradual yet sustained growth. Though there have been many obstacles and interruptions since Thomas Biesinger arrived in Prague in 1884, the dream that generations of Czech Saints have shared of seeing the Church firmly planted in their homeland is being fulfilled: on May 15, 2016, the Prague Czech Republic Stake, the first stake in the country, was organized.